Monday, August 26, 2013

Why Do I Need a Safety Cover?

Although the summer heat is still a-blazing, it is not too early to start thinking about how to cover your pool for the winter months.  There are many options on the market, which can leave pool owners confused and feeling unsure about what is the best for their pool.  Ultimately, they can really benefit from the installation of a safety cover.

 What is a Safety Cover?

A safety cover is a swimming pool cover that has been designed to protect your pool and your loved ones as well as maintain a very clean look during the winter.  Safety covers are custom-made so they stay taut and tight over your pool. The cover is secured in by crisscrossed straps attached to springs and anchors installed into the surrounding area.

 What types of Safety Covers exist?

Safety covers made from mesh can filter rain and melting snow through the cover and keep large debris out of the water, but allow sunlight through the material which can allow algae to form during the off season.  Merlin SmartMesh™ covers are different in that they have the ability provide 100% shade for the pool, creating less of a chance for algae and bacteria to grow, helping to make pool openings faster and smoother. Mesh safety covers are lightweight and are easy to put on in the winter and to remove once it’s warm.

Solid safety covers are made from a heavier material, but completely block out all of the sunlight, also making it practically impossible for algae to grow beneath the surface.  Since there is nowhere for rain water or melted snow to go, an automatic pump or a drain panel accompany a solid safety cover.

Why choose a Safety Cover?

Many families tend to choose safety covers to prevent access to the pool by small children and pets during the off season. Both solid and mesh safety covers are more than strong enough to hold the weight of a child if they wandered onto the cover as well as two adults to walk onto the cover to rescue.  Safety covers create a peace of mind for families that their loved ones will be safe and that the yard or pool area can still be utilized in the winter. In fact, they can even support a car!

Once the weather gets nicer, many pool owners want their pool ready for use as soon as possible.  SmartMesh™ and solid safety covers require less cleanup and can eliminate issues with the water once the pool is uncovered, leading to quicker opening times.

Safety covers are tailor-made to make sure that the cover is an exact fit for each pool.  Safety covers can also be made to accommodate unique shapes, water features, steps, and other different configurations that a pool may have. This ensures that your pool will be completely covered and the investments you have made in your pool will be protected too.

At Merlin Industries, Inc. we take pride in both our mesh and our solid Safety Covers.  We offer several different types of mesh safety and solid covers, as well as our patented SmartMesh™. SmartMesh™ features a high-tech weave that allows water to pass through while providing 100% shade and filtering debris to 40 microns. All of these covers have different colors to choose from.  We provide measuring and installation training to our independent dealers and installers. For more information, visit

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The recovery continues...

Living at the Jersey shore, I enjoy the smell of the ocean and bay, seagulls announcing their presence in the morning and grabbing some one claw lobsters for $5 a piece for an impromptu BBQ on the weekend.  Along with what I love, I unfortunately also have to live with the disappointment that people still think Snooki is really from the Jersey shore, its $9 to get on the beach and that currently, many families are still feeling the effects of Hurricane Sandy.  That was never more evident until  today when I drove by a vacant bay front lot with a tent pitched on it where the house used to stand. 

At Merlin Industries, Inc. for our 2013 production season we decided to put together a donation program centered around our vinyl liner product line.  Merlin Industries, Inc. pledged $10 for each Hurricane Sandy designated liner pattern sold to be donated to the American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.  This $10 was then matched by our partners (listed below) resulting in up to $40 per liner to be donated for three different liner patterns up until June 30th of this year.  This program raised a total of $12,910.00!  We were amazed by its success and we want to once again thank all of those who supported this program through matching donations and choosing the qualifying liner patterns named after hurricane effected areas like Atlantic City, Breezy Point and Seaside Heights.

When we set out to promote this program in January, while the storm was still really "top of mind", we actually received some negative feedback regarding where the money was to be donated.  It seemed as though the American Red Cross had some people concerned with where their money goes and how it gets spent.

When we decided to move forward with this program we researched various charities including the American Red Cross through sites like Charity Navigator ( which are well know as a watch groups for charities and USA Today even recommended using to evaluate a charity in an article published on that very subject.  With 92.2 percent of the money donated going toward the community or fund, and knowing that our dealers and consumers from across the nation would recognize the organization, we felt confident that the American Red Cross was the best charity to partner with.

This past Friday, 8-9-13, I had the pleasure along with our President, Andy Maggion, to visit the Jersey Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross and present the funds raised from our Hurricane Sandy Relief Program. We learned a lot about how the American Red Cross operates from Chief Development Officer, Jennifer Anderson.

We spent over an hour and a half touring the regional warehouse, offices and conference areas (some of which were converted to shelters for volunteers and employees during and after the storm) along with the regional command center where personnel communicated with volunteers in the field and local emergency responders and federal officials up until only a short period of time ago.

We saw where the money was going.  Water, blankets, cots, clean-up kits, buckets, food, medical supplies, tractor-trailers full and ready to deploy to set up 800 or 500 bed shelters with all items necessary.  We learned how fast items come into this warehouse and go back out into the field all with volunteer labor and assistance.  We learned how the chapter partners and trades services and items with our local military installments and how they are involved in soldiers returning home from Afghanistan and abroad.  We learned how they respond to help victims of local disasters like house fires, of which they had just mobilized the night prior to our arrival.

What we did not realize, and where I think some of their negative PR is generated from, is that they cannot mobilize until they are requested.  Even for a house fire, their services must be requested by local emergency personnel.  In the days following Sandy, I saw the very same American Red Cross vehicles I am standing in front of above, in the field delivering supplies, but for those effected who did not personally see the American Red Cross involved, many question how or if they helped.  Without permission from local officials, they could not mobilize into those areas.

At the same many people want to know why all the money collected has not been spent yet.  As of April 18th 2013, the American Red Cross had collected approximately $302 million dollars and had spent $192 million.  What people need to understand is that this recovery effort is far from over.  People are still not back in there homes, many homes are literally gone and tons of homes now need raised to meet current FEMA flood guidelines.  We spoke to the chapter's Case Review/Intake Supervisor of the NJ Hurricane Recovery Program, Ellen Korpar and watched her team hard at work reaching out to victims to provide temporary housing and funds to help them get back on their feet and she explained that they are provided lists of new people who need assistance all the time.  Requesting assistance is key and I would recommend contacting your local American Red Cross Chapter to see if you qualify for additional assistance.  If you don't ask, you will never know.  Ellen also pointed out that their are many other groups such as The Catholic Charities and others who have funds and resources available to help.  What she also told us is that many people her team contacts thank them for reaching out, but tell them they are doing o.k. and want to make sure their efforts are used for people in more dire need.  Those are the people that truly are "stronger than the storm!"

We would like to thank all of our partners who donated to the cause during this program.  First our suppliers, Canadian General Tower, LTD., i2M Corporation and O' Sullivan Films.  Our distributor partners, Blue Water Products, Jet Line Products, Nucci Brothers Pool Supply and Pool Corporation.  Our dealer partners, Add-On Pools, Blue Ribbon Pools, Liner Specialists, Paradise Pools and Spas NJ, Ohio Pools, Sundance Pools, The Pool Man and Westrock Pools and Spas.  

We would like to thank the American Red Cross and all its personnel and volunteers who provide assistance to our military men and women and their families as well as to those who fall victim to disaster through no fault of their own.

For more information about the American Red Cross visit  For more information on Merlin Industries, Inc. visit